Silicone reverse dyeing technology provides an important means of saving water and salts-free in the textile dyeing industry. The interactions between dyes and surfactants may influence the hydrolysis of dye during dyeing. In this investigation, the effect of ethylene oxide content in nonionic surfactant on the hydrolytic reaction of reactive dye was firstly investigated in a siloxane reverse emulsion dyeing system. Compared with no surfactants, the hydrolytic reaction of vinyl sulfone reactive dye was a slowdown when some nonionic surfactants were used during dyeing. Usually, the hydrophobic groups in nonionic surfactants were dodecyl chains but their polar head groups were different. The hydrolytic reaction of vinyl sulfone dye showed that the longer of EO (ethylene oxide) chains, the faster the hydrolytic reaction of vinyl sulfone dye. From the absorption spectrum of dye, it could be concluded that more of dyes would be solubilized into the formed micelles, and dye-surfactant complexes were adhered to the surface of micelles if the molecular structure of surfactant had a shorter EO chains. Furthermore, the intramolecular or intermolecular hydrogen bond could be formed between dye and surfactant, which would further influence the hydrolytic reaction of vinyl sulfone dye. However, the solubility of surfactant in siloxane non-aqueous media would decrease with the increase of EO chains. Meanwhile, the dispersion of dye was enhanced as well as the hydrolytic reaction of dye. From this investigation, some surfactant can be used to improve the fixation of reactive dye during dyeing. Furthermore, washing times after dyeing and the ecological problems can be decreased.
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